United States District Court, D. Minnesota
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. Magnuson Judge
matter is before the Court on a Motion to Dismiss by
Defendant Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority
(“MSFA”). For the following reasons, the Motion
is granted in part and denied in part.
2012, the Minnesota Legislature delineated the MSFA's
powers, duties, and control over not-yet-constructed U.S.
Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, including the
authority to “delegate such duties through an
agreement.” Minn. Stat. § 473J.09, subd. 5. The
MSFA ultimately contracted with Defendant SMG to manage and
operate U.S. Bank Stadium as “an independent contractor
of the [MSFA].” (Bjorklund Decl. (Docket No. 120-1) Ex.
1.) SMG contracted with Defendant Monterrey Security
Consultants, Inc., to provide security services at U.S. Bank
Stadium. (Id. (Docket No. 121) Ex. 2.) SMG also
entered into individual agreements with Minneapolis police
officers to work in an off-duty capacity at U.S. Bank Stadium
events. (Id. (Docket No. 123) Ex. 3.)
December 1, 2016, Plaintiff Anastacio Lopez attended a
Minnesota Vikings game at U.S. Bank Stadium. (Am. Compl.
(Docket No. 93) ¶ 30.) During the game, off-duty
Minneapolis police officers asked Lopez to accompany them to
a security processing center before ejecting him from the
venue. (Id. ¶¶ 31, 33.) Lopez voluntarily
complied and accompanied the officers to the security
processing center. (Id. ¶ 32.)
point on the way to the processing center, the Defendant
police officers and Defendant Andrew Hodynsky, a Monterrey
Security employee, allegedly “attacked [Lopez] while
[he] was in custody, due to his color and ethnicity.”
(Id. ¶ 1.) Lopez brought this lawsuit against
the individual police officers and Hodynsky, claiming
assault, battery, and use of excessive force. He also alleges
negligence and respondeat superior against the MSFA and
numerous other Defendants, including SMG and Monterrey
Security. The MSFA has moved to dismiss the three Counts
against it: Count VII alleges negligent supervision,
training, retention, and hiring. Counts XIII and XIV are
respondeat superior claims of intentional and negligent
misconduct. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 101-03, 119-26.)
evaluating a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court
assumes the allegations in the Amended Complaint to be true
and construes all reasonable inferences from those facts in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Morton
v. Becker, 793 F.2d 185, 187 (8th Cir. 1986). But the
Court need not accept as true wholly conclusory allegations,
Hanten v. Sch. Dist. of Riverview Gardens, 183 F.3d
799, 805 (8th Cir. 1999), or legal conclusions that the
plaintiff draws from the facts pled. Westcott v. City of
Omaha, 901 F.2d 1486, 1488 (8th Cir. 1990).
complaint must contain “enough facts to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face” to survive a
motion to dismiss. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Although a complaint need not contain
“detailed factual allegations, ” it must contain
facts with enough specificity “to raise a right to
relief above the speculative level.” Id. at
555. “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements, ” will
not pass muster under Twombly. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). This standard
“calls for enough fact[s] to raise a reasonable
expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of [the
claim].” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.
Negligent Hiring, Retention, Supervision, and
threshold matter, the MSFA contends that a negligent-training
claim is not actionable in Minnesota. See Johnson v.
Peterson, 734 N.W.2d 275, 277 (Minn.Ct.App. 2007)
(“Minnesota law does not recognize a cause of action
for negligent training.”). The Court agrees and
dismisses the negligent-training claim in Count VII. Insofar
as Count VII alleges negligent hiring, retention, and
supervision against the MSFA, the MSFA argues that these
claims fail either under the doctrine of statutory immunity
or because they are not supported by sufficient factual
MSFA argues that statutory immunity bars Lopez's claims
of negligent hiring, retention, and supervision because these
are planning-level decisions that fall under the
discretionary-acts exception to municipality liability.
to enumerated exceptions, “a municipality is liable for
its torts and the torts of its agents.” Magnolia 8
Props., LLC v. City of Maple Plain, 893 N.W.2d 658, 662
(Minn.Ct.App. 2017) (citing Minn. Stat. § 466.02)).
“The [MSFA] is a municipality within the meaning of
chapter 466.” Minn. Stat. § 473J.09, subd. 1. One
exception in chapter 466 immunizes a municipality from tort
liability for “[a]ny claim based upon the performance
or the failure to exercise or perform a discretionary
function or duty.” Minn. Stat. § 466.03, subd. 6.
“[D]ecisions involving supervision and retention of
employees are discretionary acts entitled to statutory
immunity.” Gleason v. Metro. Council Transit
Operations, 563 N.W.2d 309, 320 (Minn.Ct.App. 1997),
aff'd in part, rev'd in part on other
grounds, 582 N.W.2d 216 (Minn. 1998). Similarly, a claim
regarding municipality's hiring decisions “are
barred by statutory immunity” because such decisions
“are based on policy level activity.”
argues that the MSFA's hiring, retention, and supervision
decisions involve factual questions and, under the
circumstances, are not planning-level decisions. (Pl.'s
Opp'n Mem. (Docket No. 96) at 9-11.) But Minnesota courts
have definitively concluded that a municipality's hiring,
retention, and supervision decisions are discretionary acts.
See, e.g., Gleason, 563 N.W.2d at 320. And
whether a municipality's decisions “are a
discretionary function is a legal question.” Snyder
v. City of Minneapolis, 441 N.W.2d 781, 786 (Minn.
1989). Even assuming as true the factual allegations in the
Amended Complaint, the Court ...